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What Is your Newest Book About?

9 Jun

Since I first posted about the publication of my newest Book- The Buddha’s Radical Psychology: Explorations, I have had numerous inquirers asking about the content of the book. I thought the quickest look at the book contents would be to list the Table of Contents. Good reading!

The Buddha’s Radical Psychology: Explorations

Contents

Preface…xi

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Chapter 2 Self/No-Self 7

Chapter 3 Self as Construction 23

Chapter 4 The Human Being as a Collective, Unified Unit 35

Chapter 5 Awakening and Enlightenment: Psychological Transformation and Transcendence 61

Chapter 6 Enlightenment: Reality, Actuality and Transcendence 73

Chapter 7 Knowing and Not Knowing – What is Possible? 81

Chapter 8 The General Doctrine of the Law of Dependent Co-arising 99

Chapter 9 Kamma 109

Chapter 10 Sense of Agency 119

Chapter 11 Agency Labelled as Self 129

Chapter 12 Dividing Existence – Duality 143

Chapter 13 Language Construction of Duality 163

Chapter 14 Identification 181

Chapter 15 The Buddha’s Compassion 197

Chapter 16 Memory 207

Chapter 17 The Unconscious 227

Chapter 18 Habits 243

Chapter 19 Cognitive Biases 253

Chapter 20 Meta-cognition and Mindfulness 267

Chapter 21 Automatic Influences on our Actions and Perceptions 277

Chapter 22 Organisms as Coherent Embedded Systems 299

Chapter 23 Happiness 379

Chapter 24 The World without a ‘Self’ 391

Chapter 25 Closing Thoughts 405

Appendix A Explanation of the effects of stress on the different systems of the human body 411

Appendix B Special experiences 415

About the Author

Rodger R. Ricketts, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist and mindfulness meditation teacher. He has been studying Buddhism for over thirty years, both as part of his own personal quest and also in the application its principles as a therapeutic tool in psychotherapy. He has written three books exploring the foundation of the Buddha’s Teaching in psychology. Rodger has given numerous presentations at wellness and professional psychological conferences on the topics of cognitive psychology, mindfulness and wellbeing. Rodger continues his study of both science and Buddhism, and maintains a regular meditation practice.

Quotes, Thoughts, Reflections on Non-dualism, evolution, God, ecology, War and more…

20 Jul

It is the process through which today’s culture is rooted in cultures of the past, the process whereby our thoughts generate actions, which touch others, which touch still others, and thus a vast web of conscious minds together weave the fabric of their reality, forever creating new ways of seeing and being. L.Gabora

None of us is as smart as all of us. Japanese proverb

One comes to the startling conclusion that the coherent organism is a macroscopic quantum object, it has a macroscopic wave-function that is always evolving, always changing as it entangles its environment. This wave-function is the unique, significant form of the organism. In the quantum coherent state the organism is maximally sensitive and can best respond to opportunities and cope with all contingencies. It is source of the organism’s remarkable flexibility, resilience and creativity. …Mae-Wan Ho

And so you opted for the substantialist’s art of self making, Cutting off all umbilical cords to the Mother of Field-Being. You first dignify yourself in the kingly robes of an independent entity, enthroning yourself in the lonely kingdom of ego-substance. Then with the projective magic of your subjective substantiality, you objectify everything on your way to Godlike rigidity. And with the pointing of the substantializing wand, a bond was broken; a shade of mutuality has withered and waned. Now everything becomes merely external and separate from everything else. External is your objective world, your objectified God, and your objectified self. Anything you cannot safely possess and control you relegate to the dark side. And so you opted for the substantialist’s art of self making, Cutting off all umbilical cords to the Mother of Field-Being. You first dignify yourself in the kingly robes of an independent entity, enthroning yourself in the lonely kingdom of ego-substance. Then with the projective magic of your subjective substantiality, you objectify everything on your way to Godlike rigidity. And with the pointing of the substantializing wand, a bond was broken; a shade of mutuality has withered and waned. Now everything becomes merely external and separate from everything else. External is your objective world, your objectified God, and your objectified self. Anything you cannot safely possess and control you relegate to the dark side of the Other, the Hell, the objective pole, And condemned it as illusion, unreal, ugly, or evil. Oh, in carrying your Godlike rigidity to all eternity (as if you were in fact rigidly eternal), you, a virtuoso in dualization, have created the most unhappy situation. Professor l. k. Tong

Chicken- egg: dualism-egoism and grasping. Rodger R

When the animals evolved the talent to produce a virtual presence, they acquired a soul.

Then there was a God to be adored.

And an Adam was created.

As production of virtual presences increases, mans tie to the Real decreases.

Soon, he praises innovation and inhuman courage. He invents thrills and excitements. He relies on myths and mysteries. He downgrades Nature with a reckless chisel.

Life becomes the Grand Illusion.

With facility in the manipulation of the virtual presences, the primal Superman was born.

With perfection in the art, a second Lucifer took charge.

It was then that man came to defy the Lord.

The interminable conflict thrusting the virtual presences against the real intensifies. R. G. H. Siu

Accustomed, as it is, to think of man as a dualism of mind and body, and to regard the former as “sensible” and the latter as a “dumb” animal, our culture is an affront to the wisdom of nature and a ruinous exploitation of the human organism as a whole. We are perpetually frustrated because the verbal and abstract thinking of the brain gives the false impression of being able to cut loose from all finite limitations. It forgets that an infinity of anything is not a reality but an abstract concept, and persuades us that we desire this fantasy as a real goal of living. Alan Watts

Living organisms are much more sensitive and complex, in all respects, than we usually imagine. Rodger R
The history of phototropism is long and rich. Our current understanding of the response has its roots in ancient Greek philosophy and stems from the early physiological studies of the enlightenment. Recent research with Arabidopsis has tremendously expanded our mechanistic understanding of phototropism. We can no longer view the response as a simple or linear physiological response. Instead, phototropism must be viewed as a complex biological response involving interactions of multiple photoreceptors, multiple hormones, and multiple signaling pathways that together orchestrate the establishment of coordinated differential growth gradients. Given its complexity, much phototropism research remains to be done before we can understand all of the underlying mechanisms and know the full account of its biological significance. Craig W. Whippo
Science becomes the story that our civilization tells itself. It is a story about the universe, but told in such a way that it supports and gives credence to all that our society holds of value- analysis, prediction, technology, the accumulation of wealth and knowledge, the desire for control, progress, the need for closure and wrapping things up. Science adds credibility to our cultural dream by supporting it a seemingly objective way. We must also remember that other cultures tell different stories. It is a new form of cultural imperialism to claim that the stories of other cultures are no more than myths that must be corrected, exposed for their naiveté, or ‘make more scientific.’ Rather they should be respected, for they represent different possible glances at the universe and different ways of structuring knowledge. The danger arises when a culture takes its own story as the absolute truth and seeks to impose this truth on others as the yardstick for all knowledge and belief. F. David Peat

“The people of your culture cling with fanatical tenacity to the specialness of man. They want desperately to perceive a vast gulf between man and the rest of creation. This mythology of human specialness justifies their doing whatever they please with the world, just the way Hitler’s mythology of Aryan superiority justified his doing whatever he pleased with Europe. But in the end this mythology is not deeply satisfying. The Takers are a profoundly lonely people. The world for them is enemy territory, and they live in it like an army of occupation, alienated and isolated by their extraordinary specialness.” Ishmael

People in West Sussex think they are normal. … Some avidly enjoy foxhunting. … terrorising foxes! Just imagine what your heart would do if you had a pack of sixty dogs chasing after you and people on horseback telling them to get you. It’s ugly when you really reflect on this. Yet this considered normal, or even a desirable thing to do in this part of England. Because people do not take time to reflect, we can be victims of habit, caught in desires and habits. …When you start reflecting on the way things are and remember when your life has really been in danger, you will know how horrible it is. It is an absolutely terrfifying experience. If you don’t reflect, you think foxes don’t matter. Now this ability to reflect and observe is what the Buddha was pointing to in his teachings, as the liberation from blind following of habit and convention….We begin to be much more careful about how we do live. Once you see what it is all about, you really want to be very, very careful about what you do and say. One does not feel that one’s own life is so much more important than anyone else’s. One begins to feel the freedom and lightness in that harmony with nature rather than the heaviness of exploitation of nature for personal gain. …We don’t see ourselves as some isolated, alienated entity lost in a mysterious and frightening universe. We don’t feel overwhelmed by it, trying to find a little piece of it that we can grasp and feel safe with, because we feel at peace with it. Then we have merged with the truth. Ajahn Sumedho

The term Ecology, as used locally, does not have the connotation of the “environment” as used in America, There is no separation of man and his environment; rather there is a fusion of man and his environment. Ecology represents the study of the ecological entity as a whole. When a given ecological complex appears unfavorable from the standpoint of man, for example, he does not have a prior claim to adjustment on the part of the other elemen (ts of the complex. The others have just as much “right” to demand modification of his behavior as he has on theirs. All are one in Nature. The appreciation of this Oneness and the delicate interrelationships of its diffusions represents the prime academic purpose of the Ecology Series. (The Land of Keikitran and Eleevan) R.G.H. Siu

We are mounds of quarks in trios, we are proton-and-electron families. …There is but a single family on this planet, just one life-form stretching out its tendrils, testing possibilities as dust and stars did once upon a time. Face it, we are all in this together, microbes, seaweed, starfish, salamanders, humans, every strange extrusion of nucleic acid chains. We are the kin of yeast, the brothers of cockroaches, the sisters of sugar beets, and the cousins of maize. We share a common birthright born of ancient gene-and-membrane teams. All of us are children in the clan of DNA. Howard Bloom

All is One, One is All. Rodger R

“God” can never be alone – a solitary figure. Rodger R

The best form of knowledge, according to the Buddha, turns out to be knowledge of things “as they have become”, not knowledge of things “as they really are.”… For the Buddha, human life is not made for morals; morals are made for human life. D.J. Kalupahana

You can please some people all the time, all people some of the time but not all the people all of the time. Abe Lincoln

When written in Chinese, the word crisis is compounded of two characters – one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity. J.F. Kennedy

Environmental regularities are the result of a conjoint history, a congruence that unfolds from a long history of codetermination. Organisms and environments are mutually unfolded and enfolded structures. E.Thompson,F.J.Varela

The organism is both the subject and object of evolution. Lewontin

What is required for evolutionary change is not genetically encoded as opposed to acquired traits, but functioning developmental systems: ecologically embedded genomes. Oyama

Whenever the army has passed, briars and thorns spring up. Years of hunger follow in the wake of a great war. Lao Tzu

Conquering the people’s hearts is more effective than occupying their cities. Sun Tzu

There is many a boy today who looks on war as glory, but boys, it is all hell! William Tecumseh Sherman

I am sick and tired of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry for blood, vengeance, for desolation. War is hell! Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

The more I understand, the less I know- Tao Le Ching

The wisest mind has something yet to learn- George Santayana

Life is a dance in which we both lead and are led.-Rodger R

The future is always pregnant with possibility. Thereby, making the future indeterminate and creativity possible. Rodger R

We all enter the future with a degree of naiveté. Rodger R

What we anticipate seldom occurs; what we least expect generally happens. Benjamin Disraeli

Change is inevitable. Change is constant. Benjamin Disraeli

Afternoon Delight

Eager eyes

Hands touch

Lips embrace

Rodger

It is a commonly accepted rule of artistic training that the student must first learn technique in order to transcend technique. To learn technique is to be conditioned by the cumulative experience to perform certain acts in a certain way, the holding of a brush, the fingering of a bamboo flute, the cutting of flowers. But to be conditioned by these rules only opens up the possibility of response. One must overcome the danger of being determined by these rules, of becoming too attached to these conditions acquired in the past that the present is no longer creative. To transcend technique is to respond to the presence of the moment now before us. The determinateness of past conditions must vibrate in unison with the openness of the present. Thomas P. Kasulis

The relation between artistic creation and the Tanden, the seat of the primordial, is immediate and essential. Neither the hand nor the head should paint the picture. It is a necessary condition for the expression of the essential in all art that the artist should empty and free his head, and then concentrate his whole energy in the Tanden. His brush will then move of itself in accord with the rhythm of the Primordial Force. If, on the contrary, in drawing the lines he uses strength of this hand, or if he works under personal tension, what he wants to express will be cut off from the source of inner synthesis, and will look hard and fixed. The synthesis as oneness of subject and object does not have to be ‘produced’, it is there underlying the reality. And only through this complete knowledge can it be brought to light. This must be a whole, all-human knowledge which has its place neither in the head nor in the heart but in the centre of the whole person. Kaneko Shoseki

Life is a continuous and pervasive entanglement always affecting us on all levels. Rodger R

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.William Henry Channing

‘Psychologist’s Fallacy’ The great snare of the psychologist is the confusion of his own standpoint with that of the mental fact about which he is making his report. I shall hereafter call this the “psychologist’s fallacy” par excellence. For some of the mischief, are too, language is to blame. The psychologist. .. stands outside of his mental state he speaks of. Both itself and its object are objects for him. Now when it is a cognitive state (percept, thought, concept, etc.), he ordinarily has no other way of naming it than as the thought, percept, etc., of that object. He himself, meanwhile, knowing the self-same object in his way, gets easily led to suppose that the thought, which is of it, knows it in the same way in which he knows it, although it is far from being the case. The most fictitious puzzles have been introduced into our science by this means. The so-called question of presentative or representative perception, of whether an object present to the thought that thinks it by a counterfeit image of itself, or directly without any intervening image at all; the question of nominalism and conceptualism, of the shape in which things are present when only a general notion of them is before the mind; are comparatively easy questions when once the psychologist’s fallacy is eliminated from their treatment…’ William James